Riaan Cruywagen. File photo: Kendridge Mathabathe

Television legend Riaan Cruywagen is set to retire. According to Afrikaans daily Beeld, the veteran newsreader is finally stepping away from our screens after 37 years of service for the SABC.

Acting head of news at the SABC Jimi Matthews confirmed on Thursday that Cruywagen would retire in November.

Cruywagen revealed that he was looking forward to a holiday after doing approximately 7000 broadcasts.

"This means that I couldn't spend time with my family for at least 7 000 evenings, so I must say I'm looking forward to the evenings at home."

“I am now looking forward to going to the theatre, eating out and reading books. My days have been consumed by newspapers and news magazines, now it’s time for some good books.”

Cruywagen has been associated with the SABC since its first television broadcasts in 1975. His youthful looks, despite his advancing age, have made him a uniquely South African popular culture icon, in the vein of Chuck Norris and David Hasselhoff, with internet and e-mail jokes and parodies dedicated to him. Besides his work as a newsreader, he was also a voice-over artist, lending his voice to the beloved children’s shows Haas Das se Nuuskas and Liewe Heksie.